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There is something totally appropriate about the fact that North America, the continent that would someday contain the United States, was born in a cataclysm so violent, it ripped apart a gigantic super continent. A little more than two hundred million years ago, the continent we know as North America did not exist. From space, our planet looked nothing like earth of the 21st century. At that distant time in our planet’s history, all the continents that exist today were joined together into one giant landmass scientists call “Pangaea”. Then, on the 4th of July, 200,000,000 BCE (Before the Common Era) an immense earthquake hammered Pangaea. From the extreme northernmost point to the southern end, a deep fault in the earth split open and a huge chunk of Pangaea began to separate from the rest of the supercontinent. At first, the separation was only a few inches, but North America was born at that moment. A small piece of the scar from that cataclysm can be seen in a 20-mile line of cliffs called the Hudson River Palisades that run along the west side of the lower Hudson River near New York City.
The date is highly imaginary of course. With no humans around to invent calendars, we can’t possibly know the exact date North America was born, but that date fits perfectly. This book focuses on all those incredible pivotal moments in all those thousands of years that followed that made North America and give the world the United States.